Berkeley County School District in South Carolina is attempting to remove the gap between its teachers’ salaries and the compensation other districts offer by increasing the millage rate.
“The compensation teachers receive in Berkeley County is significantly lower than that of surrounding districts,” Berkeley County School District Interim Superintendent Michael Turner said.
A recent questionnaire administered by Berkeley County Schools surveyed 1,325 teachers in the county. The results showed approximately 19 percent of teachers surveyed are members of households that depend on the income of two teachers and approximately 61 percent said they perform other activities related to teaching to supplement their income.
Act 388 Property Tax Reimbursement is a state law that eliminated property taxes on primary residences for school operations and increased the sales tax by one cent.
“Because of Act 388, an increase in mills is the only avenue we can use to increase teacher salaries outside of growth and revenue,” Berkeley County School District’s Chief Finance Officer Brantley Thomas said.
Beaufort County School District increased its millage rate last year to generate $114.9 million for schools. Greenville County School District was able to provide raises and more competitive salaries for its teachers through and increase in the millage rate.